WASHINGTON — The U.S. State Department released a study this past Friday, in an end-of-the-week news dump, that said that building the Keystone XL oil pipeline is more beneficial than detrimental to the environment and the American people.
The study puts more pressure on U.S. President Barack Obama to finally approve the pipeline, which has been in limbo since 2008. He had slammed Canada for their emissions and demanded they cut it before he would approve the pipeline. That public statement occurred right after he delayed approval on it last July.
Reuters reported that the environmentalist alternative, using freight trains from Canada, could lead to an average of six rail-related deaths a year. By going the train shipping route, the study said that shipping the additional 830,000 barrels a day “would result in an estimated 49 additional injuries and six additional fatalities for the No Action rail scenarios compared to one additional injury and no fatalities.”
Transporting the oil by rail instead of the highly-anticipated pipeline could lead to more oil spills and leakage over time. And, principal backer TransCanada has already spent at least $5.4 billion on the pipeline.